Since the beginning of the year, I’ve experienced a series of firsts. First time publishing with a marketing plan. First time hitting the top 100s of the Amazon charts with a book. First time writing and publishing a sequel in a series.
When we’re doing things for the first time, all we can expect is the unknown. Uncertainty that heaps excitement and dread on us in equal measure, both of which lead the door wide open for self-doubt to creep in and start knocking over vases.
Valkyrie Cursed was the best received book of mine to date, which isn’t saying much because the first few books I published weren’t my best work and were only bought by friends and family. Valkyrie Cursed reached readers I had never met before in faraway lands, and who stuck around to see what would happen in the next book. But therein lay the problem: could I write a sequel they enjoyed as much as the first book?
When I finished the sequel, Valkyrie Awakened, and sent it out to advanced readers, I felt almost certain they would express their disappointment. In the first twelve hours, readers were already posting their reviews of how much they enjoyed it. I was gobsmacked, and questioning how on earth this had happened.
Book number three is undergoing a big self-edit before it goes to my editor, but I am broaching the process of bettering this book with a lot less doubt. The little voice that questions my abilities has not disappeared, and in truth, I don’t want it to. But it has descended from a frightening roar to a conversational, matter-of-fact tone that you might expect when talking shop with someone who doesn’t really like you that much but still wants you to know their invaluable opinion.
I welcome this little voice in some ways, because at this volume, I can contest its validity while it reminds me to check myself every so often. In my experience, an inflated ego really does a number on quality down the line. After all, I really do want people to enjoy book three, book four, and every book that comes after.
I’m incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to launch myself into this endeavour of writing for a living, and for the changes it has made to me and my life. I hope that everyone gets the chance to do something one day that calms that doubting voice in their heads, and reduces it to a friendly reminder to take a step back so we don’t become lost in our own confidence.
Thanks for reading! Valkyrie Cursed, my new urban fantasy novel is out now to buy and on KU!